I was recently interviewed by the Washington Post and the reporter asked me what are some of the things that overwhelm baby boomers. Legacy Memorabilia was the first answer out of my mouth. That was an easy answer because Legacy Memorabilia is everywhere in our older clients’ homes. The Holiday memorabilia, especially, seems to become an overwhelming problem during the Holiday Season.
What is Legacy Memorabilia you ask? My interpretation of the phrase is, all of the things that you and I made as a child and young adult, which our parents have been holding on to our whole lives. They are the ornaments, and poems, and handmade presents our parents hoped to share and pass on to their grandchildren.
But, what happens when there are no grandchildren or worst case scenario there isn’t an interest in our part in acquiring those items? There is a lot of pain and struggle with discarding those items for our older clients. There is a mourning process that we must allow our clients to go through.
Here are a few simple strategies we implement while sorting Legacy Memorabilia:
- Don’t get rid of the items if it is too painful
- Create keep, trash, or take picture of piles
- Take a picture pile
- Take a picture
- Write a story
- Make a picture book
- You can gift the book to your children or grandchildren and it is small item, they will likely enjoy the condensed version of the book.
- I always treasure the stories, above the item itself
- Keep Pile
- Consider a second look. What is emotional the first time, maybe be easier to discard the second time
If you are the recipient of such a gift of Legacy Memorabilia, don’t be rude! Do your best to be a good participant. Your parents have kept your stuff for a long time. Spend an afternoon going over the items, help your parents capture the photos, and most importantly listen to their stories. Be present in that process and time, you will be thankful for it in the end.